Our friend Nancy Martin took this photo of their farm pond after a beautiful snowfall.
Click here to see a larger desktop-sized photo.
“Daily Encouragement New Year Edition”
“You crown the year with Your bounty” (Psalm 65:11). “Encourage one another daily” (Hebrews 3:13).
Ten years ago we entered a time of transition in life. I (Stephen) resigned from a management position of a company I was employed with over 4 years that provided chaplain services (Marketplace Chaplains). Brooksyne also resigned her position as a chaplain a few months later. It was at times a difficult transition with our major focus on further developing our daily encouragement ministry, which at that time was available only as a text email subscription.
Our second goal was to work independently as chaplains directly for companies. The first year I primarily developed Daily Encouragement Net and became a driver for my Amish neighbor in his masonry employment. We also cared for my elderly mother who would turn 94 years old today if she were still alive. During the next seven years I had several interim pastoral roles. But for the past three years we have fully devoted our ministry focus to workplace chaplaincy and daily encouragement online ministry, along with occasional speaking engagements.
In this special year end edition allow us to express a lot more administrative material than usual. Regular readers know that the administrative operation of Daily Encouragement is behind the scenes with the online devotional ministry our focus, but we feel this overview may be of value and provide answers to questions we receive from time to time.
We are grateful for the strength and grace to continue this ministry another year and the opportunity to provide a small, regular dose of daily encouragement and Bible teaching to many readers and podcast listeners around the world.
Our practice is to write these devotionals early each weekday morning or the night before when we have early morning chaplaincy visits. The goal from the very beginning is based on a verse from Hebrews 3 stating that we are to “encourage one another daily” (Hebrews 3:13).
Foundationally one of the main things we want to convey in each devotional is the daily outlook of two very ordinary believers seeking to live another day faithfully for Christ. This ministry began with a brief email message to several friends in 1996 as I sought to offer a spiritual perspective. Brooksyne came alongside me ten years ago, editing my posts, adding her thoughts, and writing a prayer at the end of each message.
We are dedicated to Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior and each devotional is written based on a commitment to Christ and His Word. Even though we share glimpses of our own family life or that of others, or perhaps an illustrative or humorous story, we want the major focus to be on our Lord Jesus along with a brief exposition of the daily Scripture text.
A variable is the delivery schedule. We normally try to get it off by Noon (Eastern Standard Time), but a phone call, technical problem or other interruptions can easily throw off our good intention. All devotionals are prepared fresh. However, when pressed for time, we may take a previously written message from years earlier and revise or refresh it. After all Biblical truth does not change, and we have new readers coming on board all the time!
From the beginning this ministry has been on a weekday basis. We purposefully do not prepare devotionals for Saturday or Sunday. We hope each of you, if physically possible, are active in your local church where the Bible is faithfully preached.
We are opposed to the concept of a “cyber or internet church”. (This concept calls for believers to essentially forsake the real life fellowship of a local church and be in “virtual” association with others on the internet.) We believe God calls us all to be in regular fellowship with fellow believers in a local church congregation if possible. We affirm the ministry of each local pastor as he fulfills his call to “watch for your souls, as they that must give account” (Hebrews 13:17).
Administratively we want to be easy to reach if there are comments, prayer requests or problems. If you have feedback you can use the comments page. However please use this and our email address only for personal, specific feedback. We do value brief notes and prayer requests or comments prompted by a specific message and generally receive several daily.
Since most subscriptions are anonymous we have little information regarding the background of the vast majority of our readers. As it has grown we now know only a relative few of you personally and of course this percentage gets smaller as the impact grows. We know our messages go to a wide variety of corporate addresses, educational institutions and countries all around the world.
For those who have subscribed to the email list we want the email to be easy to “unsubscribe” if you prefer to be removed from the mailing list. Just use the automatically inserted link below the footers for immediate removal.
A weekly version is available with Friday’s message sent out along with the link to previous messages. This may be a preferable subscription for those who check their email infrequently. I especially appeal to those who know us personally to consider the weekly list if frequency is a motive for unsubscribing. We are so thankful for the hundreds of people who have maintained contact through the years who are on this list and we greatly value this connection.
The daily mailing and the content of our website are offered as a ministry without any cost whatsoever. We do not use any advertising since in our opinion this would clutter and confuse our message. We merely rely on the Lord to provide for our needs and meet the expenses of this ministry as He leads people to support. For any desiring information on support please see note below.
We truly hope the daily encouragement devotional has been a blessing through 2014 and continues to be a blessing and source of spiritual strength and hope to each reader and/or listener in 2015! Our desire is that each of you are committed to Jesus Christ, that you stay faithful, and that you impact many others for Christ.
Be encouraged today and have a blessed New Year,
Stephen & Brooksyne Weber
Daily prayer: Father, You have crowned our year with Your goodness that flourishes within our hearts, nurtures our relationships, and provides for all our needs. As we embark upon another year we want to be quick to encourage, eager to reach others, and faithful to pray for our brothers and sisters; those whom we connect with regularly and those who live on the other side of the globe. Above all, keep us growing in Your grace and knowledge in this new year of 2015 as we walk hand in hand with You. In doing so You will guide us through any dangers, toils and snares, for nothing can separate us from Your love that has been revealed to us through Your beloved Son, Jesus Christ. It is in His name that we pray. Amen.
We do not expect to post a message on New Year’s Day but Lord-enabling we will resume Friday, January 2, 2015!
Special Note: We want to thank you who have financially supported our ministry this past year. As in the past we have once again experienced a spike in giving at this time of year. Knowing that there are many fine ministries and causes requesting support at this time we are especially grateful for those of you who have regarded our financial need. Our ministry (and support) is essentially comprised of half our time to Daily Encouragement and the other half to our chaplaincy ministry to companies. Our goal for many years is that each phase would provide half our ministry expenses and family income. Many have donated by check, online, or by using PayPal. If you would like to make a donation see here for more information or donate directly online here. Thank you!
Ester sitting next to Brooksyne in a restaurant. We often hear from readers, asking about her health. She’s had a pretty good year excepting some troubles she had with some of her medications in August which landed her in the hospital once again. But it’s been much smoother this year than last. She’s come on board as a photographer capturing quite a few photos we featured this year including several she took today while we were podcasting.
Roxie and Mollie knew they had some Christmas doggie treats awaiting them, so Brooksyne decided to play “See who can stare the longest” with Mollie. Being a border collie you can probably guess who usually wins!
Yes, we still have our cat Dottie, although for several years she has lived in the barn due to her obsession with scratching the furniture (too late for declawing). Yesterday she asserted her youthfulness by playing with a mouse, although she will be 14 years old this Spring. (Brooksyne’s Note: This was not my idea to include this photo!)
“God Of The Ages” Video Charles Billingsley
“Another Year Is Dawning ” Video Congregational singing